What happened to Jay Slater? The theories about missing British teen in Tenerife

Human remains have been found by rescue teams searching for missing British teenager Jay Slater.

 The search for British teenager Jay Slater, 19, has been ongoing for more than a week. (Reach/PA)
British teenager Jay Slater went missing after a night out in Tenerife. (Reach/PA)

Documents belonging to missing British teenager Jay Slater have been found on a body discovered by search teams in Tenerife.

The Canary Islands High Court of Justice said the likely cause of death was an "accidental fall", according to the BBC. It added that any official identification of the body and cause of death will likely take place next week.

On Monday, a mountain rescue team from the Spanish Civil Guard discovered the body near the village of Masca. Spanish police said they believed the body was that of Slater. Missing persons charity LBT Global has said the remains were found with the 19-year-old’s clothes and possessions near his last-known location.

On Tuesday, an investigative journalist and former police officer who has been helping Slater's family said they were called to the police station late on Monday morning in what was "every parent's nightmare", and that the body was discovered at a "pretty inaccessible place".

Jay Slater recap: Teenager's clothes found near body in search for missing Brit

Jay Slater. (PA)
Spanish police searching for Jay Slater say they have found remains in Tenerife. (PA)

Slater, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, disappeared on 17 June after setting off to walk back to his accommodation.

Slater had attended the NRG music festival with two friends before going to an Airbnb in Masca with two men said to have rented the property and who were later ruled “not relevant” to the case, according to reports. A GoFundMe page set up in a bid to find Slater has raised more than £56,000.

Here are some of the theories surrounding Slater’s disappearance.

In its statement on Monday, Spanish police said Slater may have suffered a fall before he went missing.

It said: “The first investigations reveal that he could have suffered an accident fall in the inaccessible area where he was found.”

Mark Williams-Thomas, a former police detective and investigative journalist who has been helping the family, said the body was found "at a pretty inaccessible place" about a 20-minute walk from where Slater dropped a pin location on his phone.

After viewing a video of the area issued by Spanish police, he told The Mirror: "It is clear to see just how treacherous and dangerous it is - a slip or loss of footing would prove fatal."

He described the moment his family were informed by police they had recovered a body.

"It was late morning on Monday and Jay's parents were asked to attend the police station for an update, they attended hoping for a positive update. What they learnt was every parent’s nightmare."

Members of the Guardia Civil near to the village of Masca, Tenerife, where the search for missing British teenager Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, continues. Picture date: Friday June 21, 2024. (Photo by James Manning/PA Images via Getty Images)
Spanish police launched a search for Jay Slater after he went missing in Tenerife. (Getty Images)

Slater's best friend had previously claimed he heard the teenager "sliding on rocks" in their last phone conversation.

Brad Hargreaves believes he is one of the last people to have spoken to Slater prior to his disappearance, telling crime journalist Isla Traquair: “He was on the phone and he goes: ‘I’ve got to walk and go all down that road.'”

Slater hung up as “someone else was ringing him” and promised to call back, but never did.

Law, the last person to speak to Slater, told Sky News shortly after he went missing that he said he had “cut his leg on a cactus and had no idea where he was”.

Any injury may have been exacerbated because he was without food and water and had only been wearing a T-shirt and shorts.

"It's very warm in the day and very cold at night," Law said. "So in the day he's going to be really warm without a drink, and then at night he's going to be very cold without any suitable clothing."

Williams-Thomas also said that Qassim had told him that he got a "call from a friend of Jay who says that he’s in a ditch somewhere and he’s been cut by a cactus".

Slater is known to have called his friend Lucy Law at 8.50am to say he was lost in the isolated Rural de Teno park, needed water and only had 1% battery left on his phone.

The walk from his last known location in the north of the island to his accommodation would have taken about 11 hours on foot.

A former Metropolitan Police officer who investigated Slater's disappearance claimed to have detailed his last hours before he disappeared after speaking to one of the men he stayed with.

Search for Jay Slater in Tenerife.(PA)
Jay Slater went missing on the Canary Island of Tenerife. (PA)

Williams-Thomas said he had spoken to one of the two men: Ayub Qassim. He said Qassim - who was questioned by Spanish police after Slater disappeared but was allowed to return to the UK and told he was not relevant to the investigation - told him he had offered Slater a place to sleep at his Airbnb after they had finished partying.

Williams-Thomas said Qassim added that after the three of them went to sleep, he and Slater were woken by the door buzzer and a man and woman who were asking him to move his car.

As he was moving the car, he reportedly saw Slater talking to the woman. Slater is then said to have told Qassim the woman said he could get a bus every 10 minutes to Los Cristianos, a town on the south west coast of Tenerife.

Qassim reportedly offered to drop him off later after he had some rest and said there was no bus coming, but Slater decided to try after saying he was hungry. Slater is said to have left the Airbnb at about 8am.

The investigator said the evidence strongly supported Slater having left the Airbnb suddenly, walking for 30 minutes before wandering off-road, where between 8.49am and 8.50am he dropped a location pin on his phone.

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Spanish police have insisted there has been no evidence of criminality.

However, Debbie Duncan, Slater's mother, who flew to Tenerife on 18 June to join the search, initially told the Daily Mail on 20 June that she feared her son may have been "bundled off somewhere".

She said: "If anyone does have him, just let him go, he's not a bad person, maybe he's got in with some strangers who've befriended him.

"It's busy with hikers and holidaymakers up there so if he was lost then someone would have seen him, so that's why I think maybe he's been bundled off somewhere."

The disappearance has also been subjected to unsubstantiated rumours on TikTok and X linking Slater's disappearance to criminality.

Slater's friend Hargreaves dismissed theories that circulated on social media attempting to link Slater's disappearance to Tenerife's drugs scene. He wrote on Instagram: “Thinkin I’m involved in it all is beyond me. We’ve been mates for years, came on our first holiday together and unfortunately this has happened. We ain’t drug mules or whatever."